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Proposed Missouri legislation would ban business with Russia due to invasion

The Missouri House is considering legislation in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher is sponsoring the “Missouri Stands with Ukraine” initiative (HB 2913), which would forbid private businesses and state entities from doing business with Russia or Russian entities. The bill also would suspend business with other countries that occupy or attack Ukraine. Plocher announced the bill in a press conference, where he was joined by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

“Our message today is clear,” Plocher said. “Missouri is open for business to those who value democracy, human rights, free enterprise and self-determination. Brave Missourians — our service men and women — have served with honor to defend these values for over 160 years. These values made our country great and are the envy of the free world. History calls on every generation to defend freedom when necessary. We will do our small part in Missouri to lead the way.”

The bill also would apply to nations that attack or occupy other NATO allies.

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“Missouri will do its part in this critical moment in history,” Kehoe said. “As the Buy Missouri advocate for our state, I always encourage Missourians to purchase locally, and now it is more important than ever to do so. No matter how large the transaction, even if it’s a single product on a store shelf, the amplified effect of these decisions send a direct and meaningful message to the Russian government that Missourians support Ukraine.”

Russia was the 20th largest supplier of goods and imports in 2019 in the United States, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Earlier this week, Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick requested an emergency Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System meeting to discuss involvement and potential divestment of Russian holdings.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice